Proverbs 6 (1-2-21)
Grab your bibles and let’s go deeper into Proverbs 6.
Read again: Proverbs 6:1-8
Verses 1-8 are most pointedly a charge to work hard. We are in a battle in this world and in this time. We are strangers in this land, and we are among a people to whom we do not belong as Christians. We will have to work hard to avoid the temptations of the evil one and to avoid the entrapment of self-seeking neighbors. We will need to wake early and go to work—even when we don’t have to and even when we are not being told. We will need to make the most of every minute God gives us under the sun to steward well what He has entrusted to us.
Read again: Proverbs 6:9-15
Then in verse 9-15, he calls the lazy man what he is: a sluggard who selfishly and lazily slides into a mode of poor stewardship. It is the man who has succumbed to the ides of retirement; he works until he retires and then he does nothing. It’s the man who is on disability or unemployment and uses that free time to do nothing eternally useful. We do not retire from the work God has called us to do in this life until He says this life is over. Even from a hospital bed, you can minister and disciple. Even from home, you can volunteer for kingdom work.
Let us not be ones who make excuses and deceive others, for poverty and calamity will come upon us and wreck us. Beyond the warnings of calamity, let us be mindful of the teachings of Jesus who spoke in parables of condemnation for those who were poor stewards with what they were entrusted. It is God for whom we are ultimately working and living. Even when there is nothing else for which to work nor anyone else for whom to live, there is God almighty.
God is not giving you another day on earth, even in a broken physical state, for no reason. He has an eternal purpose for giving you another day or another ten years. Let us trust Him in this. Let us wake each day and press on to win the prize, to tend to the harvest, and to make disciples who go unto the nations. We do this not to build ourselves a retirement nor a good life but to make much of His holy name! What do you need to repent of doing lazily or passively? What excuses have you been making lately? How do you need to rewire the days God gives you under the sun to be used better for Him, to work hard, and to obey His commands on your life? Who do you need to talk to so that you can have some accountability in these things?
Read again: Proverbs 6:16-19
In verse 16, Solomon says, “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him.”
Then in verses 17-19 he lists them:
1. Haughty eyes
2. A lying tongue
3. Hands that shed innocent blood
4. A heart that devises wicked plans
5. Feet that make haste to run to evil
6. A false witness who breathes out lies
7. One who sows discord among brothers
Take a few moments and really meditate on these seven things that God hates. Don’t be so quick to dismiss them as being something with which you do not struggle. Are there some that you do practice or with which you struggle? Recognize that the redeemed should have no dealings with these things and should surely have no practice of them. Why? Because the Holy Spirit is now within you and empowering you to not only avoid such things but to have a God-given desire to honor Him by not doing them. Now, will we still get caught up in sin? Yes, but none of these should be a regular practice nor an undealt-with reality. So, what are you doing to make war with these things?
Let us have nothing to do with them. Let us follow Christ and point to God in all we do and say, no matter the cost or consequence.
Read again: Proverbs 6:20-23
I have found over the years that these are some of the very best words of counsel to anyone who is young and under their parents’ God-given authority. We are so smart in our youth. We are so longing to cut free from what God has determined is best: to be under the authority of our parents. Our sin wants to rule our own lives. This plays out differently for the toddler than it does the teenager, but the sin of rebellion is still the same. Instead, Solomon says, bind them to you! In other words, hold fast to their counsel and teachings. They will be a lamp to you in life. The discipline you receive is for your good.
I would say this same counsel also applies to the authority of pastors and elders whom God has put over us as the church. All too often we want to rule our lives on our own, but even as adults we are under authority, and it is counted by God as good for us to have counsel and teachings from those whom He has put over us. Do you see your pastors and elders this way?
Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
Read again: Proverbs 6:24-35
Underneath the umbrella of listening to our parents’ teachings, Solomon turns again to the specific instruction regarding the temptation of sexual immorality. The consequences of adultery are life-wrecking. The ways in which sexual sin tears us apart are so very real. Avoid it. Run from it. Do not be swept up in the eyelashes or the look of a seductive woman. Look away. Run away. It will literally save your physical life.
In this new year that God has entrusted to us, I want to say, “Praise God,” for He has endured our club another year. He has continued to give us a voice into the MC community, and He has given us new brothers to partner with as we spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost and spiritually dead. He has surely been gracious to us, for we do not deserve what He has entrusted to us. Let us take to heart these words in Proverbs 6 and be excellent stewards of 2021.
To the friends and family of SFJMC who are reading God’s word with us, it is a pleasure to labor with you all, and I am thankful for your devotion to God’s word. Keep it up as we start a new year together. Happy New Year!
Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
By His grace and for His glory,
Soldiers for Jesus MC